AJ Huisman ist Director of Marketing & Business Development in der Amsterdamer Anwaltskanzlei Kennedy Van der Laan und spricht regelmäßig auf den größten Bühnen der Branche. Für uns kommt er nicht nur das erste Mal nach 15 Jahren wieder ins aufregende und wunderschöne Berlin, er bringt auch einen hoch interessanten Vortrag für uns mit. Wie er zum Content Marketing im Allgemeinen und wie zu, für einen Content Marketer ehr ungewöhnlichen Arbeitgeber, einer Anwaltskanzlei kam, hat er uns im Interview erzählt.
Content Marketing Masters: What are the different working areas and projects you work for?
AJ: As Director Marketing & Business Development of Dutch Law Firm Kennedy Van der Laan I work with my team of 6 dedicated Marketing & Business Development professionals to support our more than 100 lawyers to reach their business goals. We cover the whole spectrum of Content/PR, On-line, Events and Business Development support. This means running our websites and blogs, getting paid, owned and earned media attention for our products and services, hosting about 65 events per year in our own event location and facilitating pitches and other Sales documents.
Content Marketing Masters: How did you get into the content marketing industry?
AJ: Without it actually been seen as Content Marketing, I’ve done this kind of Marketing for almost 20 years now. I first started realizing it when I was at a conference in Amsterdam and shortly after that I met Joe Pulizzi and that was all the way back in 2010. Then Joe invited me to be a speaker at the very first Content Marketing World USA in 2011 and soon after that I realized that I could do even more to improve our Content Marketing Strategy. I realized that I needed to move to another company to do that and then I started at Kennedy Van der Laan almost four years ago. Now we have a Content Marketing Strategy in place that works well because we have all the lawyers participating as team working on a common goal.
Content Marketing Masters: Have you been to Germany before? If so, did you like it? Are you looking forward to Berlin?
AJ: I have been in Germany many times, going to Legoland Germany with my kids or on my way to go skiing in Switzerland or Austria. I have been in Berlin one time, with my father when we were participating in a Classic Car Rallye called the Tulip Rallye, that was back in 2000. So it’s my first time back in 15 years and I am really looking forward to it!
Content Marketing Masters: What are you expecting of a German content marketing conference?
AJ: In recent years I have spoken at many conferences in many countries but never in Germany. I am especially curious to see how far Germany is with Content Marketing and I am really looking forward seeing new case-studies, meeting new people and learning a few things myself.
Content Marketing Masters: Could you give us a little sneak-preview what your session will be about?
AJ: My session will be a very practical one and even has got the former Queen of Holland in it. I will show how we started from scratch and quickly were up to speed with our Content Marketing program despite a few set-backs on the way. I will give a deep insight in our daily routine, how we try to get better every day and how we got our very critical internal clients; the lawyers, to embrace this strategy and even actively work with us as a team to attain their business goals via Content Marketing.
Content Marketing Masters: In which content marketing topics or developments are you most interested in?
AJ: My personal interest has gone from the techniques to getting everybody on board and involved to more the technology part now. Especially when it is related to ROI, so Marketing Automation and getting the Buyer Journey right and the content to match.
Content Marketing Masters: What work challenge keeps you up at night?
AJ: What worries me still is that we still have a challenge proving the concept; despite all our efforts and subsequent results there is still a natural tendency to be skeptic. But it also keeps me motivated to push even harder.
Content Marketing Masters: What is the last business book you read? Can you recommend it?
AJ: It’s not the last book but I can recommend “The lean start-up” from Eric Ries. It has a lot of practical advice on start-ups but also some great insights on how to be a better marketer in these challenging times. Furthermore you should read a few books on Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini on social psychology, a must for every marketer since persuasion is at the core of what we do. I can go on-and-on about books that inspire. In February I hosted an event with my friend Andrew Davis from the Content Marketing Institute US in Amsterdam called Content Marketing >> Fast Forward where we summarized about 40 books in 3 hours. That was great fun, maybe we should do one in Germany as well.
Content Marketing Masters: Do you have another passion besides content marketing?
AJ: I must admit that Marketing as a whole is a passion of mine but I also learn a lot from Design, Architecture and Technology. I love to watch what’s going on on Kickstarter or take my camera out to take photographs. And I have three children that are my most precious passion.
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